Laser cutting employs the use of high-power beam of light to cut materials. It has been mostly industrial application but nowadays it is finding its way
into some schools and in some small businesses. Some people also have it for their hobby purposes. This high power laser it directed through optics to the material where the
material is then burned or obliterated by the sharp beam. A CNC laser cutter uses laser optics and a computer numerical control (CNC) to direct the generated beam or the material.
This ensures greater accuracy in the generated work. A typical laser cutting involves a motion control system that follows G-code or computer commands which dictates the pattern to
be followed on the material.
A CNC Controlled laser produces high accuracy patterns and images on materials in terms of depth, size and location during laser etching. The materials dictates the strength of the laser
beam to be used.
This laser beam cuts by either melting the material, vaporizing it, burning it and the material is blown away by a stream of high velocity gas jet. This results into a very good surface
finish which may not require any further surface finishing. One of the most common type of laser cutting is CO2 laser cutter which uses a gas medium and is best suited for engraving, cutting
and boring. It has variations such as fast and slow axial flow, slab and transverse flow. It is most commonly used in cutting the following materials
· mild steel
· stainless steel
Another most common type of laser used is fiber laser which uses a solid grain medium. The laser beam is amplified inside a glass fiber which makes it is ideal for cutting mostly
reflective metal materials. At about a wavelength of 1.064 micrometers, these fiber lasers can produce very small spot (Approximately 100 times smaller than similar spot produced by CO2 laser).
This is the main advantage of fiber laser over CO2.